Located on Highway 70 bang smack between Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura, Mt Lyford is a fun and friendly ski area for all abilities. The upper slopes bask in sunshine and in recent years it’s been consistently the first to open. It’s an un-crowded mountain and a favourite of locals and Christchurch residents alike. A fleet of groomers keep the pistes in great condition and wide open faces let you open up your riding on powder days.
- Terrain – 30% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 30% Advanced
- Pistes- Main Runs Groomed
- Main Lifts – 1x Rope Tow, 1x T-bar, 2x Platters
- Learner Lifts – 1x Fixed Grip
- Top Elevation – 1750m
- Bottom Elevation – 1420m
- On Mountain Food – Cafe
- Accommodation – Log Chalet Village at Mountain Base
- Ski Hire – Yes
- Lessons – Yes
- Access – 2WD with chains when required
- Day Pass Rates – A$70 S$55 Y$35 C$20 (U6 & 70+ FREE!)
- Location – SH70, Waiau
- Sunny slopes and often the first mountain to open.
A variety of lifts service the area, including a long fixed grip rope tow for first-timers. Two platters service either side of Paradise Valley and a T-bar opens up plenty of sunny groomed slopes. For those wanting a powder fix the Terako Rope Tow offers 450m of vertical drop. From the top of Mt Terako there’s a choice of an intermediary sunny slope which is a great pick in spring or the slightly more challenging shady side leading back to Paradise Valley.
If you make the mistake of leaving home without your skis never fear, the rental centre can kit you out. The Terako Day Lodge and Chamois Cafe provide a great spot for lunch and oozes character with the exposed timber beams a focal point.
The access road ascends through native black beech and totora forest, providing amazing views over the Amuri Plains. A 2WD with chains and a competent driver is all that’s required, but if you’re unsure you can jump on board one of the low cost shuttles leaving Mt Lyford Lodge and Reserve (by the access gate).
Mt Lyford’s accommodation options include the two nearby townships, Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura; alpine log chalet holiday homes available for hire in the Mt Lyford Village, located at the bottom of the access road; plus the Mt Lyford Lodge. One of New Zealand’s largest log buildings, it’s a cosy and character filled accommodation option with a great restaurant and bar. Mt Lyford Lodge is your stop for a flat white on the way up the hill.
Event Profile Mt Lyford Masters
For the brave, Mt Lyford often hosts a surf to summit day, but one of the highlights of the events calendar is the ‘not too serious’ masters spring racing. If you fancy yourself going downhill quickly sign up on the day, there’s no charge and there’s plenty of divisions to compete in, the only prerequisite is age, open to all aged 30 years or more.
Programme Profile – Never Evers
If you’re looking to learn how to ski Mt Lyford is a great option as it’s perfect for car loads with a diverse mix of abilities. Let the experts off their leash and head for the learner’s slopes, you’ll no doubt find them with smiles on their faces at lunch. A ‘Never Evers’ learner’s package includes full lift pass, equipment rental and lesson.
Terrain and Weather Tip
Mt Lyford is one of New Zealand’s sunniest ski areas and even though it’s the second northern most mountain on the CHILL pass, it receives plenty of snow. Watch out for early winter south/south-easterly storms that head up the east coast and unload on Mt Lyford while missing many of the other mountains.
- For park riders: Jump the truck.
- For surfers: Tick off the combo, surf Kaikoura in the morning and ski/ride Mt Lyford in the afternoon.
- For beginners: Carve up the groomed slopes down Cloudy T-bar.
Wax you skis and snowboards pre-season ready for an early opening, it always creeps up quicker than you expect.
Mt Lyford Snowphone +64 3 366 1220